by Heather Roan Robbins
On this the darkest week of the year we can take the light of the Sun, the hope and promise of the year ahead, into our hearts and shine for all. We may feel a second Solstice on a thoughtful Christmas Eve as the Sun conjuncts Pluto, but we know life and light will soon return to our world even though the temperatures chill. The winter solstice asks us to remember this cycle in all our darkest hours and toughest years; the light will return.
This week we may feel impatient for an impending change we can smell and feel, but is not yet here. The Sun and the two planets of emotion, Venus and Mars, are in action-oriented fire signs, but Mars turns retrograde over the weekend and sends us back to finish some unfinished business for a few months. We could feel frustrated that some hope or ambition that felt like it was just at our fingertips now temporarily slips away. But it is not gone. As Mars retrogrades, it may lower our energy level for a while but this can help us take a break for the holidays.
This weekend has some lovely social sparks. Relationships in the early stages can really glow as Venus squares Uranus, sextiles Jupiter and Neptune. If our hearts get stirred up and we want to love, but the situation is not conducive or the relatives are being difficult, we can pour the love in more communal forms and gift back this season. Since all this focus on community can strain intimate relationships, we need to make sure we keep our radar open towards our dear ones.
If we look westwards on Sunday and Monday evenings we can see an inspiring conjunction between the Moon, Jupiter and Neptune, an aspect which can make us more permeable to spirit, to intuition or the lovely starlight, but also to invasive relatives and germs. This aspect encourages our sense of connection through meditation, prayer, traditions and ritual, perfect for a week of holidays; it adds a gentle glamour to our festivities and imaginative wings to our stories. But take care to keep the system strong, and practice gentle ways to set limits with even the closest relatives.
Remember that the subtle voice with which we speak to ourselves is a form of prayer. If it is a low, mumbling “I can’t get sick, I think I’m sick, what if I get sick” we can make it happen. So let’s play it a different way. But if we decide to send loving kindness around the globe, which is a great way to spend the solstice, this love can become a tangible force.
One proviso: escapist habits can steal the magic. We can be tempted to seek non-ordinarily reality through a few extra classes of wine the party or try to hide our feelings in the sugar cookies, but if we keep that up, we can divert the creative magic of this time and let it pass in a cloud, leaving us more confused than before.
Because our actions have magic this week, let’s take no pragmatic shortcuts; we need to walk our talk. We may feel tested, as if the universe wants to know if we mean all those highfalutin ideals, or lowfalutin, depending on our approach. Look for a real opportunity to give back to the community, to warm the cockles of one’s heart on collective efforts. But let’s not get blinded by our ideals and try to help people who do not want it; we need to respect personal authorship in this thin-boundaries time, and ask what’s needed rather than impose our great solutions. The homeless shelter may prefer a bag of rice to freshly-baked cookies.
As the Sun enters Capricorn on Dec 21, the shortest day of the year, it brings our attention back to our traditions and roots, our personal responsibilities and our responsibilities to the earth we walk upon.
Midweek our hearts tenderize. We can get so sensitive that we unintentionally (or intentionally) guilt trip, but that won’t work. It’s better to be open with one another, helpful and low key, undemanding and accepting. The time is ripe to connect with people without holiday performance anxiety and take a contemplative look as the Sun approaches Pluto and the Moon wends its way through Pisces. Low energy can be hard on those with health challenges, so check in with one another.
Christmas Eve has some very challenging and potentially rewarding aspects. We may have an unusual opportunity to be there for one another as we deal with the biggest challenges in our life. It could also bring up such a clash of egos and will that make for mythic family fights and the kind of events that challenge our spiritual perceptions unless we choose our battles carefully and don’t get all huffy when other people’s priorities are different from our own. Let’s make this time less about who behaves and more about our awareness of lasting memories. Let’s walk in right relations with one another.
Friday, Dec 18: The day brings in an earthy, healthy note as Venus trines Mars in fire signs under a Capricorn Moon, but practical consideration can keep us from really relaxing into the fun. The mood is cooperative and determined, outgoing, flirtatious and impassioned; it’s a good time to break into new territory and connect with new people. As long as we accept their autonomy, because most of us resist any sense of feeling controlled. Take action towards a new plan, launch a new adventure. Tonight, weave threads of tradition through our socializing.
Saturday, Dec 19: Enjoy a festive, reckless note as Venus square Uranus under an Aquarius Moon. Our eccentricities shine, but because our judgment wavers we need to keep the receipts if we buy some really wacky last minute present. It’s not a personal and cuddly time, but we can enjoy the restless collective holiday atmosphere. Afternoon and evening can be emotionally unsettled, even volatile, with technical difficulties but creative bravado. Let’s enjoy the pageantry but not buy into the melodrama tonight as Mars turns retrograde in Leo.
Sunday, Dec 20: We need to move the body but can pull a muscle unless we keep exertion even and reasonable, joyous but unstrained as the Moon opposes Mars. Balance personal needs that compete with those of the group. If something needs to be said this afternoon, do it kindly. This evening a beautiful sextile from Venus to Jupiter and Neptune can bring out the seasonal heart and glowing camaraderie though it may be easier to love all sentient beings than to love a few difficult relatives.
Monday, Dec 21: This is a spectacular Solstice, the Moon, Jupiter and Neptune exactly conjuncts as the Sun enters Capricorn at 10:46 am MST. Take a moment to celebrate together, create the magic of a collective vision and share hope for the year ahead. If this is the dark before the dawn, what do we want to see in the returning light ahead? Responsibility, intuition and imagination lend an extra glimmer to the firelight. While visioning can be powerful, mere wishful thinking can make simple communications challenging; be clear. This evening is a more emotionally intimate time, tender and soft, calling us to burrow in, renew and dream.
Tuesday, Dec 22: Drop the practical stuff and fuel the heart; keep it low key and catch up with the soul and soul connections. Our permeability can make our heart tender, soft, more susceptible to spirit. But also more defensive if we feel unsafe or feel unfair demands laid upon us. It’s a hard time to feel vulnerable, self -pity can become a self-feeding loop. For our own raw edges it’s good medicine to help those less fortunate. Tonight, don’t tug on others to offer what they cannot, just warmly holding the lines of connection open.
Wednesday, Dec 23: We are so aware of what we’re missing, what could be, we can feel the world in transformation, and may wonder if we have what it takes to proceed. Even in paradise we’d hear this bittersweet note as the Pisces Moon conjuncts Uranus and the Sun conjuncts Pluto. Avoid rough edges; let the beauty of the natural world feed the heart and the faith in the cycles of life buoy the spirit. If there are maudlin family traditions to engage, shut-in relatives to visit, do it now.
Thursday, Dec 24: The Moon enters Aries and the Sun conjuncts powerful Pluto, which brings fresh energy and a need to act. Conflict is easy, watch the control issues and power plays, do not try to make relatives behave. We need to find a balance between some urgent voice within and our social responsibilities, or else we’ll blow them off. Avoid political talks today, or engage with a real intention to improve understanding, not convince or irritate. If relatives compete in strange little power plays to prove we care about them more that others, reassure but don’t buy into the competition. Traditions really help smooth the path, but prioritize people first and foremost, even if it means being the flexible one. Evening is expressive and energized.